Women are still not on an equal footing in financial decisions, says UBS

Most men are disappointed when their wives don’t participate in the family’s financial decisions, said Kelly Wittich, financial advisor at UBS Wealth Management USA in Cincinnati.

Still, only 20% of couples make financial decisions equally, said Wittich, who specializes in advising business leaders

This and other contradictions were revealed in UBS Wealth Management USA’s third annual survey and report released on Thursday. The results were discussed in a webinar yesterday. The study “Own Your Worth 2021: Building Bridges, Overcoming Barriers” examines the attitudes of women and men towards prosperity.

“If the woman does not want to participate in the financial planning, this is a source of disappointment for 88% of the men,” said Wittich. At the same time, 57% of women stated that they would like more commitment. The study included 1,501 investors. Individuals between the ages of 25 and 30 had investable assets of at least $ 250,000. Individuals aged 31 to 49 had investable assets of at least $ 500,000, and those aged 40 and over had investable assets of at least $ 1,000,000.

“Although only 20% of women and men make long-term financial decisions equally, the majority of women and men agree that working together would benefit both partners,” the report said. “Seven in ten believe that sharing decisions would promote a greater sense of trust and financial security. Women in particular would feel more prepared if something happened to their spouse, such as: B. Illness, disability or death. “

In a somewhat contradicting finding, the study also showed that men feel more competent to deal with family finances; They believe that it is their responsibility to do so and they do not fully trust their spouses to handle the money.

“Men can be the bridge that draws women into family financial planning, but they can also be the barrier,” said Tom Huvane, UBS chief executive in New York City.

Wendy Holmes, a private wealth advisor for UBS in New York City, said she was surprised “not much has changed” when it comes to women who play more active roles in family financial planning.

“I saw my mother and father divorce 25 years ago and my mother didn’t have the financial knowledge she needed,” said Holmes. “But now I see the same thing with my new customers and my friends. This fact has remained the same for a very long time, which is quite striking. “

Eighty percent of women will be solely responsible for their finances at some point in their lives. Therefore, they shouldn’t delegate these decisions to a partner, added Jennifer Povlitz, division manager West at UBS Wealth Management USA. And yet half of the women who are part of a couple pushes after a partner, said Povlitz.

“Consultants can help change this imbalance,” said Povlitz. To do this, advisors need to involve the whole family, Huvane added.

Mark Wilkins, a private wealth advisor in St. Louis, said much of the research continues to shock him because he has seen more and more clients as entrepreneurs in recent years. However, some companies don’t want to include women in the financial planning process, he said.

“If it takes an event in a woman’s life like a death or a divorce to get involved in financial planning, we haven’t done our job,” said Wilkins. “Including women in the process is an approach that we at UBS are very conscious of when we work with the whole family. It should be a process, not an event. “

UBS said in the report, “Many women believe that indifference to money management frees them to focus on other things. In reality, it often catches them. When women fail to participate in financial decisions, they are missing out on more than just an equal partner. They lose their voice over decisions that will profoundly affect their families and their future. “

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